Local business and consumer news. Openings, closings, deals, sales, what to buy and where to buy it, we round it all up and give you an insider's shopper's special on small business in Halifax. Contact shoptalk@thecoast.ca to send a tip.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Goodbye, my P’lovers

Eco-friendly store closes all three of its locations.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 3:15 PM

The P'lovers South Park Street location, before it moved to the north end. - SAMSON LEARN
  • The P'lovers South Park Street location, before it moved to the north end.
  • Samson Learn

After 25 years, P’lovers is closing. 

In an Instagram post, owner Shelby Lendrum lamented her store: “Despite my best efforts, P’lovers is closing its doors permanently,” she wrote. “My deepest apologies to those who are caught in the turmoil of these sudden events.”

Lendrum was a P’lovers employee before taking ownership of the Halifax and Mahone Bay shops—originally owned by Ann Caverzan and Liz Crocker—in 2013. She opened an additional location in Dartmouth, which is now shuttered for good along with the Mahone Bay location. According to Lendrum’s post, the Halifax store (3059 Gottingen Street) will briefly re-open for a liquidation sale in February.

Lendrum continued: “I have devoted more than half my life to this company, some of which is recorded here in this virtual world of social media. For that reason, only the Instagram account will remain active. Having said that, it will switch over to a personal account unless I feel it’s time to let go of it as well. Otherwise, I will use this platform to remain connected to those interested throughout my grieving, and hopefully healing, process.”

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lily Pad Cat Lounge is opening
in Dartmouth

All resident cats are adoptable from the NS SPCA.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 4:02 PM


Jody Godin
had always wanted to start her own business, and a couple years ago she decided to take the leap. After jumping through some hoops and doing some crowdfunding, the Lily Pad Cat Lounge (590 Portland Street) is about to open in Dartmouth.

“I love animals, but I especially love cats,” says Godin. She got the idea for a cat-centric space as she read up on cat cafes around the country, particularly the Catfe in Vancouver. When the time came to get down to business, she found the rules around animals in food establishments are much stricter here than in other provinces. 

“It wasn’t until I actually finished my business plan and stuff like that, that I realized ‘Oh, OK, so I have to change this aspect and go on from there,’” says Godin.As a result, the lounge will be more focused on cats than being a cafe. Visitors first enter through the shop section of the store, where they can buy cat supplies or merchandise for themselves: “Necklaces, rings—things you’d want to give a crazy cat lady.” If they want a coffee or tea, there’s a self-serve station with a Keurig machine. After paying an entrance fee, it’s time to head to the lounge to meet the resident cats.

  • via Facebook

The kitties in question are all adoptable pets from the Nova Scotia SPCA. Godin’s job is to ensure they are happy and healthy in the lounge while the SPCA provides the food and vet care. If the cats need a break from people (as we all often do), they can slip through a kitty door to another room.

A couple roadblocks—including a power outage—have prevented Lily Pad from opening in the last few weeks, as Godin hoped it would. She’s hoping things will be up and running by the end of next week, if not before.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Seam Work coming soon to downtown Dartmouth

Quilter brings a sewing workshop to Queen Street

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 3:49 PM

  • via Facebook

Adrienne Klenk will have Dartmouth in stitches come February. That’s when she’ll open Seam Work, a sewing studio and classroom space that’ll share a home with Urban Gardens Ltd.—her husband Max’s new business—at 60 Queen Street.

“I’ve been quilting for 20 years, and I started an Etsy shop in 2016, but I’d been teaching for the last three years and my dream was always to have a workshop and have fabric to sell,” says Klenk, who saw the opportunity to bring that dream to life when her husband opened his shop in November. “It's in the first level of house on Queen Street, it's naturally divided into two halves. It’ll be a link to people doing for themselves, growing their own stuff, making their own stuff.”

Seam Work will have six sewing machines for hourly rental and will offer open studio time as well as an array of classes. Klenk, who’s been teaching at Halifax’s Patch (2571 Robie Street), says she’ll provide everything from beginner to advanced classes, from basic intros to sewing, quilting and garments to kids classes later in the year once things get rolling. “I started the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild three years ago, so I’ve met many sewers and quilters through that group,” she says of the teaching roster she hopes to offer.

The studio won’t be selling fabric due to space, but Klenk says students will have the choice to have their supplies included with their class registration. Seam Work aims to open and debut its class schedule in early February and classes kick off in March.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Halifax street style: Argyle Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM

  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Stephanie L’Italien and Arya
Age: 27
Spotted: Argyle Street
Wearing: jacket and shoes, Zara; jeans, H&M; blouse, Frenchy’s; sweater: Club Monaco; purse, Old Navy; scarf, purchased while traveling abroad   

How would you describe your style?
My style has always been very basic, simple and classic. I don’t like to overcomplicate my outfits and I always stick to neutral colours. I am always on the hunt for sales and I never buy anything full price, which is a big money-saver!  When it comes to my style, the saying “less is more” is quite accurate.   

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit? Instagram is definitely my inspirational tool nowadays. I can spends hours on Instagram looking at various outfits on different fashion accounts without even realizing I’ve spent a good chunk of my day scrolling through photos.

How does living in Halifax affect your fashion choices?
I just moved to Halifax this summer but it’s already influenced my style quite drastically. It’s a very trendy city so it’s nice to be able to see different fashion trends whether you're in line getting a coffee or going for a walk at Point Pleasant. I would also say the weather here is definitely the number one factor that affects my fashion choice. I tend to dress in layers as the weather is a bit unpredictable so wearing an oversized scarf or a comfy knitted cardigan is definitely key during winters in Halifax.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?
Bold colours or differing patterns have always been considered a trend but that is something I could never get on board with.  My colour scheme never seems to go further than browns or maybe even a forest green but I’ve always admired those who can pull off bold colours or patterns.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

There’s always room for dessert at Taiyaki 52

A new cafe brings taiyaki—and taiyaki ice cream—to the table

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 5:57 PM

  • via iStock
Sophie Lee moved to Halifax from Vancouver about a year ago and the city immediately made an impression on her. “There was something quite different from larger cities,” she says. “People are really interested in local businesses and want to help each other succeed.”

It was that feeling, in combination with her experience in the food industry, that helped inspire her to open something of her own. Lee tapped into her sweeter side and dreamed up Taiyaki 52, a dessert cafe that’ll open at 2001 Brunswick Street (next door to Inkwell) in February and feature traditional, golden brown taiyaki cakes, with fillings like red bean and custard, as a centrepiece.

“Basically we’ll be selling Japanese, old-fashioned taiyaki—fish-shaped waffles—but sort of a fusion version. It’ll be similar to a waffle dessert plate, with fruit, whipped cream and syrups,” she says, citing the golden fish of New York’s Taiyaki NYC (we highly recommend looking it up) as a sort of muse. She also hopes to be serving taiyaki ice cream—AKA soft serve ice cream in a taiyaki cone—in the warmer months.

“I worked sushi restaurants for the longest time but wanted to create something more fun. Halifax, I think, is all about creativity.”

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rock Candy to close after 15 years

Customers can still get their band merch fix online from Rock World East.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 2:22 PM

  • via Facebook

On December 27, Rock Candy Boutique’s (5189 Prince Street) 15 year run will come to an end—but owner Tim Crow holds no bitterness.

“I’m grateful, for the city and the people,” he says.

In a Facebook post that reads “We just fucking want to sleep in from now on!” Crow goes on to thank his employees and the city for years of loyalty. No finger-pointing involved.

“We feel like we’ve been given everything. We had employees that worked right through until they finished their law degree,” says Crow. “I’m very proud of them, they always took big risks and bettered themselves while using the shop as their foundation.”

It all started back when Sunday shopping was illegal: Crow met a friend on eBay that would sell him cheap shirts from Ontario and sold them at the Penhorn Mall flea market. People loved it, so after meeting a few friends, he decided to open a storefront.

“This was when Black Moore just started and Hellacaust was big. The nightlife was thriving people would window shop and come back the next day to get the shirt they liked,” says Crow. “And we got those windows kicked in a lot which is fine, no big deal.”

With about 30 t-shirts on the walls and a couple lunch boxes, Rock Candy opened its doors. And the city loved it.

As the music scene was booming, people swarmed in throughout the years for their favourite band merch. Crow acknowledges the changes in society and the rise of online shopping.

He also reminisces on some of the craziest days. He tells a story about when Metallica came to town, and with the rollercoaster weather, the temperature suddenly dropped.

“We had 150-200 people in Metallica t-shirts lined up to get Metallica hoodies,” Crow says with a chuckle.

This being just one of the many highlights he has throughout the years.

“It’s not the flashiest thing but I met my wife there now I have three kids with her and I love her like crazy,” says Crow.

Sister company rockworldeast.com is still in full operation, employing about 20 people in a 16,000 square foot facility in Dartmouth. Crow is proud that there will be no layoffs from Rock Candy closing.

“Another highlight is the people who helped me and the great things they are doing with their lives in places beyond working at a t-shirt shop,” he says.

As for Crow, an avid surfer, he will continue shredding waves and slinging shirts.

  • Via Facebook

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lucky Cat Barbershop opens its doors in Dartmouth

Downtown Dartmouth has a new spot to get a trim

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Logan Hawkes - NOAH WIDMEYER
  • Logan Hawkes
  • Noah Widmeyer

“Lucky Cat is everything you love about your grandmother's basement,” says co-owner Logan Hawkes of the homey space as he capes a customer.

It’s the barbershop’s (49 Kings Wharf Place) opening day and its couch is already full of eager Dartmouthians. Patsy the pug happily greets customers at the door.

Lucky Cat has a sleek minimalistic setup with three chairs, offering haircuts and hot shaves. Hawkes co-owns it with fellow barbers Ashley Hawkes and Neil Atkinson.

“It’s the dream when you're a barber to have your own shop, I decided it was time to pull the trigger,” says Hawkes, who expects a hectic week and new year.

Patsy, right, manages the crowd - NOAH WIDMEYER
  • Patsy, right, manages the crowd
  • Noah Widmeyer
The need for a place for a trim in the ever-evolving downtown Dartmouth drew in the team. Small businesses continue to pop up in the area like neighbours The Watch That Ends The Night and Sidecar Goods and Yeah Yeahs Pizza (66 Ochterloney Street), which will be collaborating with the shop to make a Lucky Cat pizza.

"We have lots of collabs coming with other Dartmouth businesses," Hawkes adds. "That’s the beautiful thing about Dartmouth, how strong the community is.”

Follow @luckycatbarbershop for updates.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Earth Goddess Shop is moving, making room to grow

The jewellery boutique is set to leave the Hydrostone and head to Point North.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 3:22 PM

After eight months in business, Shannon MacGregor and Sandy McInnis were told their shop’s building had been sold. While Earth Goddess Shop has been attracting customers to the little establishment in the Hydrostone (5528 Kaye Street), plans to tear the place down mean they have to move.

“We wanted to stay in the north end,” says McInnis, so the pair chose a space in the Point North building (5870 Demone Street).  “There’s so much going on in that building I can’t really divulge right now—but there is a great restaurant going in on the other end, that’s all I’m gonna say—and there’s customer parking there as well.”

The new shop will be bigger, allowing MacGregor and McInnis to do things they didn’t have room for before: evening workshops in jewellery-making and reiki are two of the things they hope to begin. “We’ve really fine-tuned what works for us and what doesn’t” in terms of merchandise, says McInnis, so there will also be some changes in products—but she’s mum on the full details for now.

On top of that, MacGregor and McInnis are planning to expand the online shop, which is currently on Etsy featuring some of their most popular products. In the new year, Earth Goddess will have a website of its own featuring new and improved internet offerings.

Earth Goddess’ last day at the Hydrostone location is December 29 and it’s expected to be open in Point North in February. 

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Getting down to business: 2017's openings and closings

Thankfully, there are more hellos than goodbyes.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 4:00 AM

(Clockwise from top left) Bagel Montreal Style, OZ, Rinaldo's, Chainyard, Lola & Odin, The Watch That Ends The Night - ALEXA CUDE, DYLAN CHEW, RACHEL MCGRATH
  • (Clockwise from top left) Bagel Montreal Style, OZ, Rinaldo's, Chainyard, Lola & Odin, The Watch That Ends The Night
  • Alexa Cude, Dylan Chew, Rachel McGrath

Here’s our annual round-up of the openings and closings that changed the small business landscape this past year. We’re happy to report the hellos (103) far outweigh the farewells (58) in 2017!

As usual we’ve left out big box shops and mall news to concentrate on locals (save for IKEA because it was probably the biggest retail story of the year), and we’re not discounting all of the renovations and new locations that kept our neighbourhoods interesting— there just wasn’t room to do it all.

If your favourite spot from 2017 isn’t on this list, let us know by commenting on this post or emailing shoptalk@thecoast.ca. Special thanks to tipster @HalifaxReTales.



Chatime, 1070 Barrington Street
Crepe Crepe Cafe, 1070 Barrington Street
Gangnam Korean BBQ, 1261 Barrington St
How Bazaar, 1727 Barrington Street
Man Bean, 1284 Barrington Street
Mr. Bern’s BBQ On The Run, 1118 Barrington Street
Tin Pan Alley, 5201 Duke Street
Wonderful Bao Bao, 1022 Barrington Street


Ginger Grass, 1284 Barrington Street
Foreign Affair, 1705 Barrington Street
Hot Plate The Sizzling House, 1022 Barrington Street



Aquarica, 1600 Bedford Highway
Blue Elephant Thai, 81 Peakview Way
Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers + Poutinerie, 507 Larry Uteck Boulevard
Jasmine Chinese, 622 Sackville Drive
Koroni Pizzeria, 1312 Bedford Highway
Let’s Ko, 604 Bedford Highway
Millstone Public House, 50 Gary Martin Drive
M&J’s Eatery, 813 Bedford Highway
Rusty Zipper, 575 Sackville Drive
St. Louis Bar & Grill, 792 Sackville Drive
Turtle Back Tap and Grill, 3187 Highway 2
Vernon’s Thunderbird, 2094 Hammonds Plains Road


Bicycles Plus, 1248 Bedford Highway
Chef’s Menu, 518 Sackville Drive
Cristall Wine Merchants, 1595 Bedford Highway
Patty Cakes Bakery, 131 Sackville Drive
Prospector’s Pub, 75 Peakview Way
Relish, 507 Larry Uteck Boulevard
Tazah Pizza, 540 Southgate Drive



Bagel Montreal Style, 135 Wyse Road
Birdie’s Bread Co., 380 Pleasant Street
Chico’s Island, 95 Caledonia Road
Giggles Pizza, 575 Main Street Unit 4
Hoghorn BBQ, 55 Tacoma Drive
Hotchkiss Furnishing, 121 Ilsey Avenue
IKEA, 645 Cutler Avenue
Kenny’s Pizza, 1038 Cole Harbour Road
Mezza Lebanese Kitchen, 6 Forest Hills Parkway
Pleasant Street Diner, 205 Pleasant Street
Pure Elegance Bridal and Formal, 958 Cole Harbour Road
Sonia’s Stone Oven Pizza, 635 Portland HIlls
Stockpot Cafe, 20 Wright Avenue
Thirsty Turtle Bar & Grill, 245 Waverley Road


Angie’s of Burnside, 50 Akerley Boulevard
Chico’s Island, 95 Caledonia Road
Coles Neighbourhood Restaurant, 972 Cole Harbour Road
Downeast Beer Factory, 612 Windmill Road
Feed My Heart and Soul Pizza, 31 Government Wharf
Hoghorn BBQ, 55 Tacoma Drive
Hum’s Kitchen, 516 Pleasant Street
Piez Bistro, 635 Portland Hills
Star Fresh Diner, 20 Wright Avenue
Stockpot Cafe, 20 Wright Avenue
Woody’s BBQ, 159 Hector Gate, 159 Hector Gate



BayB Boutique, 145 Portland Street
The Canteen, 22 Portland Street
Little C, 20 Portland Street
Lucky Cat Barber, 49 King’s Wharf Place
Retrospekt, 166 Ochterloney Street
Sidecar Goods, 15 Kings Wharf Place
Schnitzel Bistro, 65 King Street
Smiling Goat, 15 King’s Wharf Place
The Watch That Ends The Night, 15 King’s Wharf Place
Yeah Yeahs Pizza, 66 Ochterloney Street


BayB Boutique, 145 Portland Street
Just Us! 15 Kings Wharf Place
KEW, 102 Portland Street
Neiforth Furnishings, 35 Portland Street



aFrite,1360 Lower Water Street
The Bird’s Nest, Discovery Centre, 1215 Lower Water Street
The Cake Lady, Halifax Waterfront
Chowder House, Halifax Waterfront
Deep Sea Donuts, Halifax Waterfront
Grounded Coffee Bar, 1869 Upper Water Street
NSKDS, 1876 Hollis Street
Orso Pub & Grill, 1859 Brunswick Street
OZ, 1887 Granville Street
The Pint Public House, 1575 Argyle Street
Pizza Girls, 1560 Grafton Street
Roll on Two Chimney Cakes, 1810 Granville Street
The Rooftop, 1567 Grafton Street
Stone’s Throw Patio, 1919 Upper Water Street
Vinyl Retro Dance Lounge, 1575 Argyle Street


The Argyle Bar & Grill,  1575 Argyle Street
Choco Cafe, 1360 Lower Water Street
Cyclone Fitness, 200-1717 Barrington Street
Flipburger, 1565 Argyle Street
Juice Press, 1949 Upper Water Street
Mongoli Grill, 1645 Granville Street
Soap In Your Mouth, 5239 Blowers Street
Two If By Sea, Halifax, 1869 Upper Water Street
Yeh!, 1560 Grafton Street



14 Bells Art Gallery, 5523 Young Street
Anti Fashion, 5687 West Street
Bar Kismet, 2733 Agricola Street
Chain Yard Urban Cidery and Unchained Kitchen,
2606 Agricola Street
CHKN CHOP, 6041 North Street
Church’s Barbershop, 2468 Agricola Street
Compass Distilling, 2533 Agricola Street
Espresso 46, 2867 Isleville Street
Fox Hill Market & Mexican Deli, 2760 Robie Street
Haligonian Cafe, 2394 Agricola Street
Heartwood, 3061 Gottingen Street
Lola and Odin, 5881 Almon Street
Midnight Oil Print & Design House, 2168 Gottingen Street
Nearby Planet, 2093 Gottingen Street
Octopus Skateboards, 5687 West Street, Unit 200
Rogue, 6331 Lady Hammond Road
Spirit Spa, 5540 Kaye Street
Third Earth Collectibles, 5576 Cornwallis Street
Vandal Doughnuts, 2605 Agricola Street
Water & Bone, 5687 Charles Street
Zekara, 2698 Agricola Street


Abode, 5881 Almon Street
Ace Burger Co., 2605 Agricola Street
Agora, 2394 Agricola Street
Anti Fashion, 5687 West Street
Big Pony, 2168 Gottingen Street
Bikes by Dave, 6191 Young Street
The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street
Good Food Emporium, 2186 Windsor Street
Greek Village, 2733 Agricola Street
Haligonian Cafe, 2394 Agricola Street
Waffle Love, 5530 Kaye Street



Benny’s Burgers, 1545 Grafton Street
The Captain’s Boil, 5680 Spring Garden Road
The Daily Grind, 1479 Birmingham Street
Mezza Lebanese Kitchen, Dal SUB, 6136 University Avenue
NSLC Express, 5657 Spring Garden Road
Reality Stop VR, 1482 Queen Street
The Shop Upstairs, 5486 Spring Garden Road
Smiling Goat, 5896 Spring Garden Road
Spinco, 5481 Clyde Street
Sweet & Tears Tea House and Dessert,
5475 Spring Garden Road
Tart And Soul Cafe, 6389 Coburg Road
A Taste of the East, 7-1589 Dresden Row
Way 2 Roll, 1480 Brenton Street


Bonne Cuisine, 5640 Spring Garden Road
Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar, 5650 Spring Garden Road
Goji’s Frozen Yogurt, 5486 Spring Garden Road
Preamble Footwear, 1457 South Park Street
Sweet & Tears Tea House and Dessert, 5475 Spring Garden Road
Vica Boutique, 5475 Spring Garden Road



7 Peppers Grill, 6290 Quinpool Road
The Golden Samosa, 480 Parkland Drive
M&Y Asian Grocery Store, 2150 Windsor Street
Lazeezo, 480 Parkland Drive
One Day Affair, 47 William’s Lake Road
Roll The Dice Board Game Cafe, 6386 Quinpool Road
Roundabout Bicycles, 7111 Churchill Drive 
Silong Express, 16 Titus Street
Six303 Eatery, 6303 Quinpool Road
Rinaldos, 2186 Windsor Street
West End Beer Wine Spirits, 287 Lacewood Drive


Bobbleheads Pub & Eatery, 30 Farnham Gate Road
Layla Seafood and Mediterranean Cuisine, 480 Parkland Drive
Modern Shanghai Bistro, 6253 Quinpool Road
The Oxford, 6408 Quinpool Road
Thai Ivory Cuisine, 6303 Quinpool Road

*Bedford/Sackville includes Hammonds Plains and Fall River
**West End includes Quinpool, Fairview, Clayton Park, Spryfield

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Atlantic News delivers your Saturday Globe and Mail fix

The newsstand is the only place to buy the paper in Atlantic Canada.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 3:12 PM

Extra! Extra! The Globe and Mail has left Atlantic Canada, but it's not forgotten.
  • Extra! Extra! The Globe and Mail has left Atlantic Canada, but it's not forgotten.

Saturday is always the busiest day of the week at Atlantic News, the venerable newsstand/temple of media, so it stands to reason Fridays aren’t exactly slow. And sure enough, this morning the shop was humming—staff at two cash registers, someone in the back room unpacking boxes of magazines, multiple phone lines ringing. But it was also the calm before the storm, because tomorrow Atlantic News will be the only place in Atlantic Canada selling the weekend print edition of The Globe and Mail, so it’s going to be an especially busy Saturday.

In her office at the store, owner Michele Gerard takes a moment to explain the logistics behind becoming a national newspaper’s lone east coast outpost. As soon as the Globe announced in August that as of November 30 it would no longer bother distributing print copies in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI (Newfoundland was cut off a few years ago), Gerard reached out to the company. “We were willing to do business differently with the Globe,” she says.

Typically newspaper publishers give copies to their distributors on a kind of consignment model, where the distributor doesn’t have to pay for papers that don’t sell. For the Globe to exit Atlantic Canada, that doesn’t work. They’re willing to send Gerard as many as she wants, but she has to pay for each copy up front. She figured the risk is worth it as long as she doesn’t buy too many papers that nobody buys. As a starting point she asked for 200 copies, then put the word out to her customers. Would anybody want a newspaper?

Decades ago Atlantic News looked like a hoarder’s fire trap, jammed with shelves all over the store overflowing with newspapers from around the world. Easy access to online news really evaporated the market for a week-old copy of Aftonbladet freshly arrived from Stockholm, but as the internet takes away, it also gives.

Gerard’s office is like the bridge of the starship Enterprise, featuring a view onto the bright shop floor. It’s also part engineering, with a big computer-connected photocopier that can quickly churn out large-format reproductions of 700 daily papers from around the planet, Albania to New Zealand. This on-demand printing is popular enough that a handful of Atlantic News customers used the service for their daily Globe and Mail, even when the newsprint version was available, and the store is on its third copier.

The on-demand version of the Globe is nice and all, but it's missing that broadsheet magic.
  • The on-demand version of the Globe is nice and all, but it's missing that broadsheet magic.

The finished product is about three quarters the size of a newspaper, printed on white sheets that are stapled together. It’s a pretty good approximation. “But it’s not the broadsheet,” Gerard says, and the photocopier technician who’s there topping up the toner agrees. There’s still some magic in an actual newspaper; holding those big sheets of newsprint is a unique and special thing.

When Gerard’s customers found out Atlantic News would have the Saturday Globe after the Globe’s retreat from the region, plenty wanted a copy. There was enough demand that a reservation list for one of the 200 copies became a pre-paid list of subscribers who will get the paper—$9.50, taxes in—every week. “The model is there,” Gerard says. “They’re used to the subscription.”

Soon enough Gerard needed more copies from the Globe, but there’s a complicating factor in shipping Saturday papers from Toronto to Halifax so they arrive that same Saturday afternoon: Air Canada Cargo. The freight arm of the widely disliked airline needs its orders confirmed 30 days ahead of time, and there’s a real physical difference between 200 copies of the paper and 250. However, 30 days is a magazine timeline, nowhere near nimble enough for a daily’s weekly. So negotiations continue.

Right now, Atlantic News is getting 275 copies of tomorrow’s Globe, and every one’s already been spoken for. Gerard is hoping to get that upped to 325 for the first run tomorrow, but is being careful not to promise anything. “It’s a work in progress,” she says a couple of times during a short chat. She will be driving out to the airport herself in her Mazda 5, hoping the plane is on time to get the papers back to the shop for Saturday afternoon.

The phone rings yet again. Somebody else hoping to get a Saturday Globe, another name on a waiting list. There’s an added wrinkle, however, as the caller wants to buy a subscription as a Christmas gift. After a few minutes, Gerard hangs up the phone. “We’ve been here 44 years working in print media,” she says. “This is what we do.”

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wrapper's delight: a holiday market round up

Get your holiday shopping handled with a host of craft fairs, pop-ups and maker's markets.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:19 AM

There are so. many. amazing. treasures. We can't wait to share with you. 🎁

A post shared by Halifax Crafters (@halifaxcrafters) on

You’ve made your list. You’ve set your budget. A crisp roll of wrapping paper awaits, begging to be busted out of its cellophane packaging and furled around all the gifts you’ll be giving this season. The only thing you need? The gifts themselves.

Or maybe, you’ve got no list, no plan and every time you attempt to get going with your shopping you just buy something for yourself instead (oops).

No matter which camp you fall in, you’re in luck: There are still plenty of markets and pop-ups stuffed with locally made art and artifacts, making it easy to pick up every last purchase and run home to your ugly sweater and eggnog. Go withdraw some cash and grab a reusable shopping bag for these events:

Yuletide Bazzar 
Celebrate the arrival of colder days and longer nights with this fine art bazaar that boasts economical prices.
Dec 1-21, Plan B Merchants Co-op, 2180 Gottingen Street

14th Annual Christmas Market & Bazaar 
A slew of handmade offerings from local vendors helps you get your shopping in order before Santa's big scene.
Sat Dec 2, 10am-1pm, Christ Church Hall , 61 Dundas Street, Dartmouth

Christmas Tea and Sale
Shop for baked goods and collectables before refuelling with sandwiches, sweets and tea at this holiday-cheer-filled time.
Sat Dec 2, 12-2pm, St. James United Church Hall, 181 Portland Street, Dartmouth

Have Yourself a Gothic Little Christmas
The eighth annual Forum bazaar of fairytale, medieval, steampunk, gothic and anime items means you'll be gifting outside-the-box goodies to those on your list.
Dec 2-3, Halifax Forum, 2901 Windsor Street

Halifax Crafters Society Market 
Over 80 vendors bringing a dose of handmade goodness makes this a market you won't wanna miss.
Fri, Dec 1, 5-9pm; Sat, Dec 2 & Sun, Dec 3, 10am-5pm, Olympic Community Hall, 2304 Hunter Street

Holiday Wishlist Expo 
Attending this epic holiday expo is like walking through the Wish Book of your dreams.
Dec 2-3, Exhibition Park, 200 Prospect Road

Big Pony Holidaze Pop-Up
The former Gottingen Street treasure chest rises from the dead to light up Seven Bays—and your holiday shopping—with cool and chic offerings from longtime collaborators like The Bounty, JAW Pottery, Art Brat Comics and more.
Thurs, Dec 7, 6-10pm, Seven Bays Bouldering, 2019 Gottingen Street

NSCAD Holiday Pop-Up
The annual holiday pop-up returns with over 70 NSCAD students selling original art, from photographs to textiles. Stuffing a reusable bag with offerings means you'll be doling out gifts as unique as their recipients.
Fri Dec 8, 4-9pm; Sat, Dec 9, 10am-4pm, Art Bar + Projects, 1873 Granville Street

A Winter Moment
Head to the APEX arts + performance exchange (6068 Quinpool Road) for this one-day buying-bonanza that features cards and prints from illustrator Colleen MacIsaac, sculpted miniatures by Dan Bray, herbal-infused products from Coco Apothecary and more. Bring cash—and your nice list.
Sat, Dec 9, 10am-5pm

Last Minute Christmas Craft Show
Still scrambling for the stragglers on your gift list? This market has your back, with thoughtful offerings that look like they were bought months in advance.
Dec 9-10, Maritime Hall, 2901 Windsor Street

A Very Listless Christmas Market 
Get your last-minute shopping sorted, craft beer in hand, at this maker's market.
Sat, Dec 16, 12-5pm, Good Robot Brewing Company, 2736 Robie Street

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Where I work: OZ

Follow the cobblestone road to the Granville Square shoe store’s stomping grounds.

Posted By on Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 11:38 AM

  • Dylan Chew

1887 Granville Street


One step into OZ you might think you’ve walked through some kind of portal to a modern footwear exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum. Michele Giffin opened slick shoe store three months ago on Granville Street, a literal stone’s throw from street fashion emporium RCHMND. Is this the beginning of the Granville fashion district?

OZ is a wonderland of women’s footwear, with brands like fashion go-tos Stuart Weitzman and Senso, and in-the-know ones like the Brazilian label Schutz, that emphatically show Giffin’s buying prowess and curatorial eye. Her product offering also includes candles and personal fragrances by Maison Louis Marie, which has a cult-like following in fashion circles. “When I was debating the name I wanted one that encapsulated all my personal ideals including style, fashion and interior design,” she says. “But how do you even name a baby?”

This baby wasn’t really planned. Giffin was enjoying a career in fashion at Foreign Affair on Spring Garden, where she spent three successful years. “I really enjoyed working at a smaller retailer because it’s more hands-on learning and you’re exposed to all aspects of the operation including, buying, event planning and client development,” she says. However, she wanted to appease her other creative side and study interior design. As soon as Giffin decided to leave Foreign Affair to further her education, the historic space on Granville became available. It was perfect. And, as British author Alan Bennett once said, “Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances. Sometimes it’s now or never.” So, thanks to some gumption, she took the leap.

Armed with a deep understanding of people and things that impact their decisions—Giffin has an undergraduate degree in psychology—a knack for retail and a father who is an entrepreneur, she created a space that is “inspired by the most iconic shoe of all time—Dorothy’s ruby slippers.”
“I wanted a magical place, one where you can get transported to,” say says, adding that she aims to “appeal to women who love travel and have disposable income.” This is just the beginning for Giffin, who opened OZ as a fairly nimble space. “The name is purposely gender neutral so that I can expand whether it’s to men’s shoes or apparel,” she says. “This is just the starting point for me, the brand will continue to grow and evolve.”

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Friendly Divas wants to buy 500 Diva Cups before 2018

Suzanne Lively tackles period poverty by distributing Diva Cups to low-income women across the city.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 23, 2017 at 3:50 AM

"I’m all about women helping women and being in a community with other women," says Suzanne Lively. - RACHEL MCGRATH
  • "I’m all about women helping women and being in a community with other women," says Suzanne Lively.
  • Rachel McGrath

For low-income women in HRM, paying bills often takes priority. Rent, heat and groceries take precedence over hygiene products like shampoo, razors and menstrual products. It’s not ideal, but it’s necessary.

When Haligonians donate to community groups, they often don’t think of those items either. “We buy the soup, and the boxed mac and cheese, but you don’t think of all the other things people need,” says Kathy McNab, the fund development and communications officer at Adsum for Women & Children.

A new fundraising campaign is hoping to increase the amount of menstrual products donated to low-income and women in poverty in the HRM. Suzanne Lively launched the Friendly Divas campaign in early November. Her goal is to raise $15,000 and donate it in the form of 500 Diva Cups.

“I just think it’s something that not a lot of us have thought about,” says Lively. “The issues for women that are living in poverty are different and more complex than a man.”

A Diva Cup is a silicone-based reusable menstrual cup. It can last up to five years and costs about $30. Lively says it’s more environmentally friendly, compared to the average 240 tampons a woman would use each year. This means the fundraiser’s 500 Diva Cups would save 120,000 tampons from going to the landfill in the first year alone.

“If we were for example to do a tampon drive today for women, and everybody got their tampons, well they’re in the same boat next month. It’s a reoccurring problem every month,” Lively says. She has made arrangements to donate the products to several organizations across the city, including Bryony House, the YWCA, Phoenix Youth and Adsum for Women & Children.

McNab says last time Adsum received menstrual product donations, they were very popular. “At least 1,000 women come into our donation centre on a regular basis,” says McNab. “We could easily help out 100 women with these products, just out of Adsum.” When women receive a Diva Cup through Adsum, they’re also learning how to properly use them.

“Part of the program is that we would do a little introductory session and teach people not just about the Diva Cup but about health in general, and menstrual health,” McNab adds.

“It occurred to me somewhere along the way that if people don’t have money to buy food, what are they doing for tampons?” asks Lively, who has been a Diva Cup user herself for seven years.
“If you don’t have money for this, you’re using whatever you can find,” confirms McNab. “Wadded-up tissue paper, cut-up sponges. They’re not as effective and definitely not as sanitary.”
The Friendly Divas campaign has raised $1,500 since it launched. Lively says that once people learn what a Diva Cup is, most people are supportive.

Women who are already Diva Cup users are extremely happy about the initiative. But they’re not for everyone, says McNab.
“For people in the shelter they aren’t the right answer, tampons were more the product of choice. They don’t always have access to a washroom easily to be able to clean things and to carry it around on a regular basis. So, they needed something easy and disposable.”

Lively also suggests buying an extra box of tampons to donate each month, or for women no longer menstruate to donate any extras they have. She hopes Friendly Divas can inspire other similar fundraisers in the future.

“I want to see this go across the country, I’m all about women helping women and being in a community with other women. I think we’re a force to be reckoned with and we can truly change the world.”

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

My Mother's Bloomers' new digs

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 4:23 PM

  • via Facebook

Neville McKay’s flower shop has put down some serious roots on Spring Garden Road. It’s been 25 years of My Mother’s Bloomers (5486 Spring Garden Road) growing with the downtown strip, but 2018 will see the business blossom in a brand new location in the north end.

“It’s not like I wanted to leave the road as much as I wanted to evolve a little bit more as well. We looked around the street, and other parts of the city, and when this area came up we thought it was quite something. It was just the energy in the neighbourhood,” says McKay of his new digs at 2086 Creighton Street, former home of Kevin Muise Interiors. “Spring Garden is a very vibrant important area, it’s a big hustle and bustle. When we first started on the street it was a little calmer—I think we all were—and I like that feel of that relaxation here, people sauntering around, going to the bakery or off to the Goggle or EDNA. There’s so much going on, it’s such a neighbourhood feel.”

Having a standalone storefront will be new for the shop, and McKay says all of the location’s space and windows have him daydreaming already—of more plants, window displays, crafts and community events. He’ll likely be digging into some sweet window planters, too. My Mother’s Bloomers will say goodbye to its old location just in time for the new year, moving out of its current shop December 31.

“The big trek will happen January 1,” says McKay. “Brand-new year, brand new spot, brand new us, brand new look.”

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

The winners of 2017's Best of Halifax Readers' Choice Awards are here!

With 600+ champs to celebrate

Posted By on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 6:00 AM

  • Meaghan Tansey Whitton
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In Print This Week

Vol 25, No 42
March 15, 2018

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